Eminent cultural personality Kamal Lohani yesterday alleged that the government itself is hampering the establishment of secularism in the country by compromising with the Islamic group Hefazat-e Islam Bangladesh.
“Many changes in textbooks are being brought as per recommendations of the Hefazat; Hijab is being made compulsory at different educational institutions; many Jamaat leaders are joining Awami League; thus, secularism is not being established,” he claimed.
Kamal Lohani was speaking at a routable titled “Independence of Bangladesh: Prospects and Problems of Secularism” in the capital's Cirdap auditorium. Workers' Party of Bangladesh organised it.
“The punishment for hurting religious sentiment as per sections 295 to 298 of the Penal Code has been kept for the benefit of the religious majority, as the use of this law is less seen in case of religious minorities,” said Workers' Party of Bangladesh General Secretary Fazle Hossain Badsha.
Samyabadi Dal President Dilip Barua said the prime aim of forming the 14-party alliance was to thwart the religious fundamentalists and communal forces, so AL should not make any compromise with religious forces.
MM Akash, a professor of economics department at Dhaka University, alleged that both AL and BNP are patronising religious groups to gain political benefits.
AL presidium member and coordinator of 14-party alliance Mohammed Nasim claimed that sometimes his party sits with Islamic groups to address fundamentalism.
Speaking as chair, Workers' Party of Bangladesh President Rashed Khan Menon said proper constitutional initiative can establish secularism.
Jatiyabadi Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Hq Inu and Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad presidium member Kajal Debnath also spoke at the event.